Keeping Your Heart Open Is a Rebellious Act

By Rebecca Capps   |   August 29, 2023

Most of us have experienced heartbreak at some point that caused us to wonder if opening up our hearts again is even possible or worth it. Nothing is quite as uplifting and powerful as love — and nothing is as devastating and painful as its loss. You may feel heartbroken or emotionally closed off from the prospect of love. Without knowing what healthy expressions of love look and feel like, it’s understandable why you may have a difficult time creating them in your own life. Instead of judging your experience, meet yourself where you’re at and view it as an invitation to delve deeper into self-compassion and realign with love – both in how you express and receive it. Ultimately, love is a moment-to-moment practice of opening the heart, which comes from a space of deep trust. Living in such a way – with your heart open – takes faith because the standard view of life is one of struggle. But the way of the heart is the opposite; it is the experience of flow based on the understanding that the more you love, the more you will attract people and experiences to love.

Choosing to love is a choice to expand versus contract, even after the heart has been broken. Similar to how you cannot stop your lungs from breathing or your heart from beating, love is an involuntary part of your essence; it is the glue that connects you to everything. Opening the heart does not cost anything, nor does it require sacrifice. What it does require, though, is dropping the expectation that you will get crushed by life whenever you let your guard down. Letting your guard down can feel tough because the mind is trained to expect the worst and believe in the myth of separation. We have been trained to see ourselves as separate from nature and each other. Many of our political leaders even embody this ethos of division, thus, unconsciously promoting fear-based stories to influence and rule our lives, which is the opposite of love. Moreover, love is often an abused term; it’s something many people say but struggle to actually put into practice or fully experience. However, no matter your life circumstances, you always have the power to either expand in love or contract in fear.

A guarded heart is a defense against an absence of love. Thus, awakening the heart involves clearing out old belief systems and unconscious patterns that perpetuate imbalances in the ability to love and be loved. As Marianne Williamson declares, “Love is the essential reality and our purpose on earth. To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life. Meaning does not lie in things. Meaning lies in us.” As such, healing the heart and establishing meaning beyond suffering means becoming a seeker of deeper truths and adopting a new paradigm. The new healing paradigm to adopt is understanding that you are not a passive bystander; instead, you are an active agent in creating reality — including the manifestation of love!

By gaining a fluent understanding of healing your heart, you also access the many miracles of this life. A Course in Miracles declares that “Miracles are natural. Something is wrong when they don’t happen.” If you feel unlucky in love or do not have lasting, meaningful relationships, you may doubt yourself and your ability to live miraculously. Nothing is more devastating than losing faith in the miracles of life or sitting in the absence of love. Without love to glue us together, we separate from the parts of ourselves that cause us to feel whole. The absence of love shuts us off from miracles and causes us to pull away from others. However, when we understand that love is something we create and co-create with others, we begin to take our power back. It means we know that love is enhanced by love. For example, putting this into practice means loving your kids unconditionally because it encourages their highest potential. In your vocation, focusing on love means building on genuine compassion and care because you know it will bring out the best in your employees or co-workers. And, if you have a partner, practicing love means accepting them for who they are without always trying to change them. When the sole focus is love, you push through the inevitable obstacles on your path and manifest the highest order of good for all. What is created in love can awaken and inspire miracles. 

Ultimately, choosing to open the heart is a rebellious act, especially when the impulse is to close or protect it. Holding a perspective of love means seeing yourself reflected in everyone you meet and that there’s nothing to defend. It means releasing negative patterns and beliefs to maximize your capacity for love. Your highest self isn’t just an idea that’s “out there” or “woo woo-ey”… it’s a way of being that you must come to understand if you desire to get closer to love. And when you open yourself up to the shifts in consciousness required to experience love, you will eventually become the person you’ve always dreamed of becoming. Where there’s love, there is no question; it just is. As Jack Kornfield said: “The heart is like a garden. It can grow compassion or fear, resentment or love. What seeds will you plant there?”

I hope you plant love, you little rebel.  


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